Let’s not spend our precious lives glued to a screen. Life is simply too short!
Have you ever felt like you have no hobbies and have forgotten what you enjoy to do in your spare time? Are you constantly overwhelmed and short on time?
There are many reasons that one could feel this way, but today I wanted to share my experience a little bit.
For a long time, I felt like I lost my sense of 'being present' and my sense of self. If someone asked me what my hobbies were, I would have a hard time telling them, because I simply had no time. I was too busy for hobbies.
Or so I thought.
Now, just to be clear, I never considered myself to have a ‘cell phone addiction’. Then one day, I discovered an option on my phone that was tracking my cell phone use per day and boy, did my eyes pop out of my head when I saw how much I was using my phone. According to my phone, I was spending (on average) over 10 hours on my phone per day. I am so ashamed of saying that, but thankfully, this was the wake up call I needed.
I remember staring at that number in shock for several minutes trying to process how that was possible. That meant that the majority of the time I was awake, I was on my phone.
It was in that moment that I decided to make a conscious effort to stay off my phone more. It was extremely challenging at first, and I even had to put time limits on certain apps like Facebook and Instagram on my phone which would prevent me from going on them for more than an hour a day.
Over time, though, it became easier. Setting limits on my app use prevented me from going on them once I hit the maximum time. After that, I was locked out of my apps and couldn't use them anymore. And just like that, I instantly had so much more spare time. I actually had a hard time figuring out what to do with it.
So, what did I do?
I rediscovered how much I love classical music. I started reading again. I even started writing again. I began working out and going out for walks. I started reflecting more and having more moments of silence. I started praying the rosary more. I also realized how much I love cooking and baking and spent lots of time trying new recipes. My husband and I started playing board games and having deep talks often. So many graces just started pouring into my daily life. It has helped me feel closer to God.
I did this for over a year before our daughter was born, and I am so happy I did. Once she was here, it was much easier for me to adjust to being fully present and tuning into her needs, instead of constantly reaching for my phone. She is now eight months old and I am constantly crawling after her, and only have time to catch up on chores while she naps, so this is a whole new kind of busy for me (but such a wonderful blessing all at once). Now there are some days that I don’t even know where I put my phone! This has been incredibly freeing to me.
Someone might worry though, what about my social life? Will I lose it if I disconnect from being glued to my phone?
No, definitely not! There are so many ways to make it work. You could set thirty minutes a day to respond to messages, or you could make plans with more friends and see them in person during your spare time instead. Connecting in person helps deepen friendships in a way that a text message could never do. And through limiting your cell phone usage, it encourages one to put in more effort to make these connections!
I will admit, with the time limits I do fall behind on responding to texts and messages, but I realized even more how much time I used to spend doing that. It usually takes me a few days to respond to something not urgent, but I know that those that are close to me understand and when we see each other in person, it is always as though time hasn't even passed. We pick up right from where we left off and have a wonderful time catching up. We also have a lot more to talk about, which makes it so much fun just chatting away!
As wonderful as it is to have a cellphone where we have all the modern conveniences just a touch away, we should take a moment to reflect on how we are using it in our lives and whether we have room for improvement. Let’s not spend our precious lives glued to a screen. Life is simply too short!